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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Department

Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Charles F. Klahm

Abstract

The level of mistrust between citizens and the police continues to have serious implications for police legitimacy. Police legitimacy is an important phenomenon that must be preserved, since it forms the very foundation of police authority. The intricates surrounding police/citizen mistrust is further compounded in this era of citizen journalism, where the increasing availability of cellphones and varying social media platforms, have given rise to the ability to share the captured footages with a wider audience. In 2014, then president, Barack Obama proposed a compromise to bridge the gap between citizens and the police. This compromise came in the form of body worn cameras. The advent of BWCs continues to be explored by scholars in an attempt to assess its impact on various outcomes. This paper digresses from attempts to explore outcomes and instead, looks at the implementation process. After all, the soundest policies, if not implemented properly will have serious negative consequences. Using a mixed methodological approach, this paper explores some of the nuances of the implementation phase that department must consider before adopting the technology. The study uncovered a plethora of nuances that departments looking to adopt the technology must consider, if for no other reason, to assist in creating their own implementation design. These include the need for effective communication with all stakeholders prior to and during the process, the need to institute a risk mitigation period, the importance of sound policy related to the usage of BWCs prior to rolling out the technology, the importance of serious consideration as it relates to both short-term and legacy cost, as well as the need to offer a very robust training on the technology.

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